Some have gained and emerged as new heavyweights in the state government while some have suffered a setback.
Doing a rejig of his 21-month old ministry following Friday’s expansion, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis clipped the wings of established leaders such as rural development minister Pankaja Munde, education minister Vinod Tawde and housing minister Prakash Mehta by taking away some portfolios held by them.
At the same time, new revenue minister Chandrakant Patil and cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh emerged as new power centres in Fadnavis’ team. Water resources minister Girish Mahajan and energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule too got additional portfolios.
The water conservation portfolio, earlier held by Munde, will now be with Ram Shinde, who was elevated as cabinet minister on Friday. Fadnavis was reportedly unhappy with Munde over the implementation of his pet project Jalyukta Shivar by the department. Munde was also in controversy over the selfie she tweeted during her visit to a water conservation project.
Tawde has been stripped of the medical education department. It has now been allotted to Girish Mahajan in addition to the water Resources department he held.
The changes were also the result of complaints received by CM . Before making major changes, Fadnavis discussed the rejig with senior ministers Chandrakant Patil and Sudhir Mungantiwar on Saturday evening.
Fadnavis has tried to mollify the Shiv Sena which has been critical in recent times by offering them berths of minister of state (MoS) for Home and Cooperation.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray chose to hand over the responsibility of MoS Home (rural) to low-profile Deepak Kesarkar. Another significance of the decision is that Kesarkar comes from Konkan where Sena will be facing Congress leader Narayan Rane who is eager to stage a comeback after suffering reverses in Lok sabha and assembly elections.
Another Sena minister Gulabrao Patil will be minister of state for cooperation. the Sena leadership will expect him to use his position to gain inroads for the party in the cooperation sector.
Meanwhile, Sena mouthpiece Saamna said the BJP did not deliberately fill the four berths in its quota as those could be used as a dangling carrot for its legislators in remaining tenure.